Above Sea Level
The artist builds the space with multi-leveled viewpoints. When we look at the whimsical town with the waiting carriage and then, down to the bottom, we realize the grandeur of the entire construction, built on top of a conch shell.
The viewer is involved in the space where the light clouds fly by and the solid ground is down below. Humans always looked for that base ground amidst the ever-changing world.
It is known that the seashell is a symbol of the birth of Life. In the widely known painting by Botticelli, “Birth of Venus,” the seashell symbolizes both the motion and the birth of life.
The title of the painting is significant. In reality, human life goes on behind the glowing windows of the castle. The upper portion is the “tip of the iceberg,” but there is another side, invisible to the “inexperienced viewer.” It is the past life, the memories, which feed the real life that shines with lights.
The light in the windows signifies the “light of intelligence.” The entire structure of the conch shell can be connected with the function of the human brain, the upper portion being the “conscious mind” and the lower, symbolizing the “darker depths of the subconscious.”
This painting reconstructs the human brain where the border between consciousness and unconsciousness floats at sea level. Above the sea, glowing with lights, is the smaller but brighter part of our conscious – the visible portion of our brain “iceberg.” He larger section of the “iceberg” is sunk in the depths of subliminal and instinctive feelings.